The Teen Doctor

Answers to your questions about adolescents

Can I Date the Friend of An Ex?

Dating can get complicated.

Dear Dr. G.,

I really need your opinion. I'm in a big state of confusion and I don't know what to do. This situation is driving me crazy. I’m a 17 year old boy and there’s this girl I like and she likes me too but the only problem is she wants to go out with me but she can’t because I went out with her friend, I’ve not been with this girl for 6 months now, so there has been a long enough time frame, but I really like this girl and I want to be with her and its took me 4 years to realize that I have feelings for her, I don’t know what to do please help.

A Tormented Teenage Boy

 

Dear Teenage Boy,

I am beyond happy that you wrote to me to get some emotional and relationship advice. All too often the assumption is made that teenage boys lack an emotional life and that troubles me greatly. I work with teen boys like you all the time and I am very much aware that teen boys not only have sensitive and tender feelings but that at times they are even more sensitive about relationship issues than girls are. This is not always the case but it certainly is the case more frequently than one would imagine.

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Clearly,you have strong feelings and a sense of attraction to your ex-girlfriend's friend. Perhaps these two young women have something in common and that's why they are friends. Think about it. You may like that specific "type" of young woman. You do, in fact, have a real dilemma on your hands. The girl that you like at this point feels that she can't date you because it may compromise her relationship with her friend. She is likely worried about the triangle of emotional confusion that this might potentially create.

My suggestion in this situation is to back off and let your feelings for this young woman calm down a bit. She has made it clear that she can't and won't date you. Respect what she says and move on to young women who are available to you. These triangulated relationships with exes and friends' of exes can get very messy emotionally.

I wish you luck finding someone to date who is both free and available.

 

Dr. G.

Barbara Greenberg, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist who specializes in the treatment of adolescents and their well-intentioned but exhausted parents.

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